Billionaire Elon Musk’s Campaign to Stop an Eminent AI Doomsday
If an intelligent man, who’s also a billionaire innovator, asserts that machines that humans created themselves may and will at some point run amok once they become sufficiently intelligent and destroy the entire world as it exists today, everyone has to take note, including scientists. If you’re still wondering “who is Elon Musk,” he’s that smart person in the introduction sentence! With an estimated net worth of $16.1 billion by July 2017 according to Forbes, Musk is the founder of SpaceX, CEO of several corporations, and an investor. A Vanity Fair article reported that the extremely wealthy engineer will pump billions into his efforts to avert an AI doomsday he reckons is realistic.
Lately, Musk has seen a rush by Silicon Valley to accelerate application of artificial intelligence, and that scares him. He’s not sitting back and doing nothing about it; rather, he’s attempting to exert influence in the quickly advancing field of science and its supporters with a view to saving the world, especially humanity, from machine overlords with the ability to learn through AI.
It appears that a couple of Musk’s company purchases and his own creations have two main targets: to stay up-to-date with recent AI advancements and to develop appropriate remedies. A case in point is a while ago when Hassabis, who helped establish DeepMind, went to Musk’s SpaceX plant which makes rockets. As the two entrepreneurs were at the canteen enjoying a chat, an enormous rocket part crossed overhead. Next, Musk made it clear that his major intention with SpaceX was the most important program to humanity: migration to other planets.
Hassabis answered that, in effect, he was involved in the most crucial program humanity will ever need: developing super-intelligent machines. Musk’s counter-response was that AI was a major factor behind the necessity for humans to migrate to Mars, guaranteeing the availability of a bolt-hole should AI run amok and start attacking humanity. Hassabis may have found the reasoning interesting, suggesting that AI would just trail people to Mars.
Three years ago is when Musk first warned about the probability of AI systems running amok and overwhelming human supervision. Maybe, nothing eased his apprehension when Shane Legg, a DeepMind partner, said point-blank that he thought human extinction was possible, and technology would likely have a role in it.
Must had already been a DeepMind shareholder prior to the AI firm’s takeover by Google in 2014. According to reports in a Vanity Fair article, Musk had invested in DeepMind with the primary goal of vigilantly tracking the AI arc, instead of profitability objectives. That was Elon Musk’s other way to influence AI developments.